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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 5, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/05/14 06/05/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! on sergeant bergdahl, i do not know of specific circumstances or details of u.s. as a result of efforts to find and rescue sergeant bergdahl. oxley backlash continues to grow over the bowe bergdahl prisoner swap.
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his hometown cancels it celebration for his release after coming under a deluge of angry phone calls and e-mails. we will go to idaho for the latest and then speak with brock mcintosh, who served in afghanistan near where bergdahl did and so to become a conscientious objector. into seattle, washington, where the city council has passed an ordinance to phase in a $15 and hour minimum wage, the highest for major city in the united states. >> today's message is clear. if we organize as workers, as the labor movement with a socialist strategy thomas we can tackle income inequality and social injustice. 15 in seattle is just a beginning. we have an entire world to win solidarity. >> we will speak with socialist seattle city council member kshama sawant. and we look at the new epa regulations on coal power
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plants. today go far enough? -- do they go far enough? all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration is seeking to contain the congressional backlash over prisoner exchange the saw the release of american soldier bowe bergdahl for five taliban leaders. on wednesday, top intelligence and military officials held a closed-door briefing for the entire senate, showing them a recent video of bergdahl in declining health. the administration says the video helped spur action to win his release over fears his life was in danger. opponents say the white house failed to give congress proper notice and may have endangered american lives by encouraging the capture of u.s. soldiers. the criticism is exploded following news bergdahl may have left his base after turning against the war spread through right-wing media. on wednesday, senate majority leader harry reid defended the prisoner swap all stop >> president obama act honorably
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and helping an american soldier return home to his family. sergeant bergdahl's release is an answer to many americans prayers. i can imagine how relieved his parents and family must feel. unfortunately, opponents of president obama have seized upon the release of american prisoner of war using what should be a moment of unity and celebration for our nation and a chance to play political games. >> sergeant bergdahl's hometown of hailey, idaho has canceled celebration for is really citing public safety concerns. angry phone calls and e-mails poured into the city hall. we will have more after the headlines. in the aftermath of the taliban prisoner exchange, the family of an american woman and her canadian has been held captive in afghanistan since late 2012 are calling for a new efforts to win their release. on wednesday, the families shared of video they say can from the taliban of caitlan coleman and joshua boyle pleading for their freedom. coleman was pregnant at the time of their capture and gave birth
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in captivity. stern president bashar al-assad has declared a landslide victory in elections dismissed by rivals of the -- as a sham. the syrian government says a solid took over 80% of the vote, which was held mostly in areas under his control. at the united nations, emergency valeriecoordinator amos appealed to a suffer greater access to besieged areas. >> if i could speak to him, i would say to put the people first. that has been my message from day one. if you put the people of syria first, i think the rest falls from that. in terms of our ability to make sure people are properly fed, that they have enough water, proper sanitation, health care, that they're able to educate their children and crucially that they had peace, security, and stability. >> the u.n. has confirmed al-assad will fail to meet a deadline later this month for the removal and destruction of his regime's entire chemical stockpile.
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head of the joint mission overseeing the stockpiles removal said major progress has been made. >> the deadline will not be met, but it is important that all the materials are out of harms way and the construction can start as soon as possible aboard the u.s. ship as considerable time has lapsed in considerable cost and time in investments have been made to get the job done. equally so, i would like to underline the significant progress has been obtained over impossible period of time. >> and other news from syria, over 150 kurdish students are being held captive following are kidnapping by rebels in the northern province last week. the islamic state of iraq and serious said beholding the students at a prison. it is one of the worst mass kidnappings in syria's are your civil war. thousands of protesters have marched in the brazilian city of são paulo in protest of public spending on the upcoming world cup. the homeless workers movement led wednesday's march to são
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paulo's mainstay demand of the world cup opening one week from today. theain stadium ahead of world cup opening one week from today. >> we want the attention of the government, we want to open a dialogue with the government to negotiate our dollops. if they do not intend to our needs, we know the way to the stadium. on the 12th, we will be there again. >> a federal appeals court has overturned a lower court's rejection of a proposed 280 $5 million settlement between security group and the securities and exchange commission over citigroup sale of toxic mor mortgage debt. judge saidcourt sh fair or adequate nor the public interest and pocket change to any entity as large as citigroup. the sec has accused citigroup of selling $1 billion of deceptive mortgage-backed securities in 2007. citigroup made $160 million in
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profits on the transaction, while investors lost seven hundred million dollars. the judges decisions did have a major impact on how the sec settles cases with major banks down the line. on wednesday, the second u.s. circuit court of appeals said the judge abused his discretion by applying an incorrect legal standard. the overturning of the decision means the settlement will likely be approved. the oil giant bp is facing new finds for its 2010 golf oil spill following a new court ruling. on wednesday, the fifth u.s. circuit court of appeals upheld a 2012 decision that bp and the company anadarko petroleum should be fined under the clean water act. they have large stakes in the well that blew out and caused forced offshore oil spill in u.s. history. the ruling could lead to billions more in fines. new workerfacing strikes this week in 20 cities nationwide.
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employees have walked off the job since last friday calling for higher wages and protesting alleged worker retaliation. the actions are being held in the lead up to the company's annual shareholders meeting on friday. a new report from the group fourrt 1% says walmarts surviving heirs have given less than 1/10 of one percent of their $140 billion fortune to their families on charity. the relatives of three americans killed in u.s. drone strikes in yemen without trial say they won't appeal the dismissal of the lawsuit against obama administration officials. the families a muslim cleric and wire awlaki from his teenage son n had filed a suit accusing talk to us officials of unlawful killings of your citizens. in april, federal judge ruled the victims constitutional rights were never violated and said u.s. officials involved cannot be held liable.
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in a statement, the center for constitutional rights and the aclu said -- a federal judge has given class-action status to a lawsuit challenging solitary confinement by california's pelican bay state prison. the plaintiffs say over a decade in solitary has objected them to cruel and unusual punishment and violated their right to due process. dozens of prisoners took part in a statewide hunger strike against long-term solitary confinement last year. the class-action lawsuit could cover hundreds of prisoners. activists in tech companies are holding a day of action today to promote greater online privacy. the reset the net campaign from the group fight for the future calls for increased web encryption and privacy tools for
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users. today marks the first anniversary of the publication of the first "guardian" story based on the weeks of edward snowden. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the backlash continues to grow over the prisoner swap involving u.s. soldier sergeant bowe bergdahl and five members of the taliban. in bergdahl's hometown of hailey, idaho, community members have canceled the celebration of his release over public safety concerns. in recent days, angry phone calls and e-mails poured into hailey city hall and local organizations over the town support for the soldier. bergdahl was captured by the taliban in 2009 shortly after he left his military outpost in afghanistan. he was held by the taliban or five years. some of his fellow soldiers have described bergdahl as a
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deserter. they've also claimed at least six soldiers died was searching for him. on wednesday, defense secretary chuck hagel rejected that claim. , i dosergeant bergdahl not know of specific circumstances or details of u.s. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue sergeant bergdahl. i am not aware of the specific details or any facts regarding that issue. >> on capitol hill, for top intelligence and military officials held an unusual closed-door briefing for the entire senate on wednesday to discuss why the white house decided to move ahead with the prisoner swap without notifying congress. senators were shown a recent video of bowe bergdahl depicting
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him in declining health. meanwhile, republican senator lindsey graham of south carolina warned the republican lawmakers would call for obama's impeachment if you release more prisoners from guantánamo bay without congressional approval. walln another development, " street journal" reports that during the prisoner exchange negotiations, the taliban warned the u.s. drone strikes a come close on several occasions to killing sergeant bergdahl while he was in captivity. to talk more about the story, we first go to idaho where we're joined by larry schoen, the county commissioner for blaine county, idaho. hailey is one of the five cities in blaine county. welcome to democracy now! can you talk first about the decision to cancel the celebration upon the return of bowe bergdahl? >> first thing, good morning, and thank you for having me. i speak very mindful of all of those who have given so much in service of the best intention of
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the mission in afghanistan. i was not in on the decision-making to cancel the event. but i think there were concerns that the event would become too large for local officials to manage. i think some people have felt the temperature rising here as disagreements about what may have happened have come to the floor on the national stage. really, i think nobody here wants to channel some of the nastiness that is out there. people are rushing to judgment, and i think that is inappropriate. in light of circumstances today, the decision was made to cancel the event several weeks ahead of it to tamp that down. >> larry schoen, can you tell us something about your corner of the country where bowe bergdahl grew up? >> this is a beautiful part of
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the country. idaho is a state with more wilderness than any state in the lower 48. people come here to recreate and be part of the great outdoors. our community is small. it is about 22,000. it is made up of people who have come to live here and visit here from all over the world. it is home to the sun valley resort, which was america's first ski resort founded back in the 1930's. it is a very close-knit community, well-educated community. people support one another in tough times. nature of this event, is to show support for the bergdahl family and sergeant bergdahl who has been held by the taliban for five years. >> larry schoen, yours is in an usual community and they have the great wealth of the celebrities like bruce willis and demi moore, their home there -- though they are divorced, but
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what they had there. and then you have working-class people. for example, you the bergdahls who moved from california, homeschool their kids both bowe and his older sister skye. he work at a coffee shop. can you tell us about that? he was well-known for his ballet performances, bowe bergdahl was. focus on the celebrity aspects of this community because people have been coming here from southern california since the 1930's. in fact, that was part of the marketing of this resort when it first opened. but this is a working-class community. the zanies as a coffee shop owned by an old friend of mine lovesened it because she being with people. she loves serving people. it is a place where bowe worked
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and therefore has become the mecca in town. our county is bigger than the state of delaware with only 22,000 people. people tend to congregate in the towns, but the bergdahls, like i, live out in the rural parts of the county. place.s been a gathering think that is appropriate. i think people have tried to show their support over the course of these five years. they needed a place to do that, and zanies was a good place. the job he held there was one of the many things this young man has done in his short life. >> and how has the uproar in washington and across the media, now nationwide, over whether bowe bergdahl was a deserter and should have been rescued -- how
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has that affected the town and its support for the family? >> i think it is shaking the town because i think, first and foremost and certainly i as an elected official here, inc. about the family -- think about their family and their son, and what they need to get through this ordeal. the whole five years of intivity and now this ordeal the national press, global press. we are first thinking about them. from our perspective, this is not, first and foremost, about national or military policy were u.s. foreign policy, but certainly, the issues surrounding his release -- this is a very complex story. there are ties to u.s. foreign
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this reallyg out of hometown story about this young man. so i think people are shaken by that. i think people are trying to not rush to judgment locally. knows what isody right and what is wrong, and many of the different actions that have occurred. we have many different components to the story. there is the question of what was his state of mind when he left his base and went missing, was it appropriate for the us government to release these five ?aliban under the circumstances there are many different parts of that story. we are feeling the effects of the global story, but trying to focus, i think, on the health and welfare of the bergdahl family. >> larry schoen, you know bowe's
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parents bob and jani bergdahl. >> they are wonderful people. it is a loving family. they are loving people. i am sure they are still -- instilled the best guys in their son that america has to offer. 100% irrelevant as. >> bob bergdahl worked at ups for close to three decades. >> yeah, i don't really know how long he work for ups, but he is well-known in town. criticized -- he has been criticized for having spoken local afghanistan language, pashtun. and now he's been criticized for a number of different things because people are just searching for things to criticize in this event.
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bob is a very thoughtful man. i think -- he expressed publicly any times that his goals and intentions were to stand in solidarity with his son, to try as best he could and as best they could to appreciate and understand his circumstances and the circumstances of his comrades in afghanistan. i think the bergdahls have acted with only the best intentions toward their son and this country. >> larry schoen, thank you for being with us, county commissioner for blaine county, idaho. hailey is one of the five cities in lane county. the bergdahls live just outside bowe grewdbowe -- and up there and work at zanies coffee shop. when we come back, we're going to speak to a soldier who served years in the military.
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he was in afghanistan at the same time as bowe bergdahl. and when he came back to the united states, he applied for conscientious objector status. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as this controversy brews, it is on so many different levels. yet the controversial prisoner swap and the whole issue of is this leading to the posting of guantánamo, and then you have bowe bergdahl leaving the base, not really fully understood at this point as we have not talked to bowe bergdahl. once he left the base, he was not spoken to again except through taliban videos of him. the question is being raised, did he desert? being condemned in the
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mainstream media for his antiwar views. >> we're going to talk more about the bowe bergdahl story. ando to brock mcintosh washington, d.c., who fought with army national guard in afghanistan from november 2008 to august 2009. he was based near where bergdahl was captured. mcintosh later applied for conscientious objector status enjoyed iraq veterans against the war. brock mcintosh, welcome back to democracy now! >> thanks for having me. >> your initial reaction to the uproar in congress and around the country over the prisoner swap with bowe bergdahl? a song calledayed "masters of war" and there's a lyric where it talks about you to hide behind walls, you that hide behind desks, i just wanted to know i can see through your masks. i think that is a perfect description of what we're seeing in congress right now. these people who hide behind walls and hide behind desks, and
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using a pow as hsb still when political matches. and last week, used a wounded veteran with nearly 40 years of military service, general shinseki, as a political chess piece. it is outrageous we know nothing about the actual circumstances of why exactly sergeant bergdahl left. we don't know what his intentions were. it is all speculation at this point. all we know for sure is he was a pow and he should have been welcomed home. wererrock, tell us where you in afghanistan in relation to bowe bergdahl. he served at the same time, though did not know each other. -- therved in batik a province where bowe bergdahl went missing for six months. the last three months were when bowe bergdahl went missing. he went missing in june -- june
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30, and i left afghanistan in august 2009. this -- theof allegation that in the search for bergdahl, all of the soldiers, several american soldiers were lost were killed -- were lost were killed. only "the new york times," has really raise the issue that many of the soldiers are being brought out by republican political operative and made available to the various media. you understand about these other soldiers who were killed around the same time while bergdahl was in captivity? >> right, so i think the story that is being told in the media makes it seem as though there was a unit that received or was briefed about some rescue mission and they went out on this rescue mission to locate and extract sergeant bergdahl
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and six people died in the process. that is really not the case. bergdahl went missing on june 30. the six soldiers that died died two months later and four separate missions. it is not clear to what extent those missions had anything to do with searching for bergdahl. they certainly were not rescue missions. one of those deaths involved an american soldier being killed supporting an afghan national security force mission. that is not a rescue mission. know why exactly the six soldiers died. they're all sort of things that could explain it. let's not forget summer season is fighting season in afghanistan. it could have been they died in late august and early september because it was late in the summer, right before the winter, and attacks always ramp up that time of year. it could also be explained by in 2009, the obama administration initiated this protected --
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protracted insurgency campaign. there are all sorts of things that could explain why the soldiers died. i think it is unfair to assert that bergdahl went missing and therefore these soldiers died. another thing also, and bergdahl's unit, they had gone a few months without any fatalities. the first fatality was five days before bergdahl went missing. it could've been he just had gone missing at a time when there were increased attacks and people were being killed. what is unfortunate is he is being used, again, as a in aical chess piece political game and conservatives are using the of soldiers in his unit to imply that this man was in a hero and therefore, president obama is not a hero for bringing this soldier home. >> looking at buzz feed describing this former bush
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, playedration official a key role in publicizing critics of sergeant bowe bergdahl. the involvement of richard grenell who once served as a key aide to bush, rather to the ambassador john bolton and later worked on romney's campaign. i want to go back to 2009, to the soldiers who bowe bergdahl worked with in that tiny outpost they built in afghanistan. we had sean smith on the other day, photographer and videographer who produced a film back in 2009 as well as one in which i doubt and met bob bergdahl, which we also played and i encourage people to go to democracynow.org to see all of that. sean smith spent a month embedded with the unit in afghanistan. in this clip, we hear from some of the soldiers stationed with bowe. >> these people just want to be
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left alone. talks they got dicked by the russians for 17 years and now we are here. >> these people just want to be left alone. crops, weddings, stuff like that. >> i will be glad when we leave them alone. >> a few weeks later, bowe bergdahl disappeared. the circumstances are unclear. >> that is from the 2009 video for "the guardian" produced by sean smith. michael hastings would further right about that the late reporter for "rolling stone." brock mcintosh, can you talk about your feelings when you are in afghanistan, what was happening there? we have seen the e-mails that michael hastings wrote about in "rolling stone" of bowe to his
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parents, talking about his disillusionment with the war. what were your thoughts and the thoughts of other soldiers? sean smith, reporter, said it was not unusual, more so among americans and british soldiers in afghanistan, to be highly critical of what was happening. >> it is really hard to hear that clip because it reminded me so much of the conversations that i had while i was in afghanistan. talk with inmuch my unit about these afghan people and how they just want to be left alone. we were all aware of the role the u.s. played during the cold war. using the afghan people as a proxy to get back at the soviet union, using the lives of afghans as political chess pieces and gamesmanship? so to then be in afghanistan to help people, to help the afghan
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people felt very disingenuous. we never had any clear sense exactly why we were there, what it was we were supposed to be doing, why these people are shooting at us, who were shooting at us. who are we shooting at? why are we shooting at them? it eats away at you and becomes a situation where all you want to do is come home and what your buddies on your left and you're right to come home. supposed to do in a situation where you find your that you conflict don't agree with, where people are dying on both sides? what are you supposed to do? what recourse do you have? i did not know the conscientious objector progress -- process existed. there's an overwhelming lack of awareness. there's a formal process will stop whenever a conscientious shift, you can leave the
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military. >> and your commanders at times are not aware of these options. can you talk about confronting your own commander or your sense that you wanted to go into conscientious objector status? >> when i initially applied, it through my commander off guard. i applied on the very first day in my new unit, so my commander was thrown off guard vote because it was my first in meeting them and also because he didn't think that process was possible. you can't just leave because you morally disagree with war. but it turns i you can. to his credit, he read the regulations and he drafted a document we drafted together that's it i did not have to bear arms. >> what did that mean? where were you? >> i had applied after about a year or so after i had come home. i transferred from an illinois national guard unit to a d.c.
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state unit, and that is when i applied. >> and what was the process you went through? you started serving in november 2008, in afghanistan -- ini started serving november, august 2008. like so many soldiers, i wanted nothing more but to just make this war work and to help the afghan people. it became increasingly frustrated and you did not know why you're there and why these people were shooting at you or who you are supposed to be or why you're shooting and who you're shooting. i wanted to make the war work. in that process of trying to make the war work, started reading about the history and culture of afghanistan, just like bowe's father did. and like bowe, and began discomforting to learn about the relationship the u.s. has had with that country for the past 30 years and all the problems it has created for the past 30 years. certain first-hand
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experiences i had that were unnerving, like sing a 16-year-old lawmaker get blown up. he came to our base to get treated. we took turns babysitting his body. i was thinking me as a 20 world and the 16-year-old are being sent to kill each other by these adult for these ideologies that we don't quite understand. it is just a sad situation. stone,"ding to "rolling bergdahl sent a final e-mail to his parents on june 20 7, 3 days before he was captured. he wrote --
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he also referred to seeing an afghan child run over by u.s. military vehicle. your reaction to some of those words? thingant to react to one or one aspect of that statement, and that was about lies. we as veterans were lied to about the iraq war. we were lied to by the bush administration and with the endorsement of congress, we went into iraq. italy 5000 american soldiers 100,000led, well over iraqi civilians were killed, based on that line. there has been a lot of talk over the last few months about a lie that was told that the
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phoenix va hospital about these secret waiting lists. i find it really ironic that congress is so obsessed about figuring out who at the phoenix va hospital in the circumstances of that why that are connected to the deaths of 40 veterans, when a lie that they told killed nearly 5000 written soldiers and over 100,000 iraqi civilians. and what they're doing is they're trying to do for blame blamehemselves -- defer from themselves. congress is the reason that we deploy to iraq and afghanistan and deploy over 2 million veterans and have this influx of veterans that are fighting to get v.a. health care. you raisenteresting this, because last week at this time, everyone nonstop across all of the media was talking
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about whether general shinseki would resign and about the horror of the v.a., the waits people have when they come home from war, one to two years. and within two days, that is all wiped off the face of the media and this is the controversy that takes its place. but you see these as connected. >> i'm not sure if they're connected. it could be this happened at a time when the obama administration anticipated general shinseki stepping down. i don't know, but i see a connection in congress' willingness to exploit other people service for political gamesmanship. last week, they scapegoated general shinseki, a wounded veteran who served for nearly 40 years, they scapegoated him to defer blame from themselves and the role they played increasing
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these waitlist and failing to prepare for the cost of veterans coming home. when we went to iraq and afghanistan, they did not set aside the necessary funds that would be required to care for our veterans who come home and to make the systematic changes that would need to be made. so congress played a huge role in creating those waitlists and the problems the v.a. is facing and they scapegoated a veteran last week. this week, they're now taking advantage of a pow and using them for political gains and it is pretty sick and disgusting and pretty shameful. trucks did you ever get country just objective status? >> did you ever get conscientious objector status? >> i did not. the process -- there are always obstacles and barriers in the process. has withs have to butt officers. the loser paperwork.
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you really need to have legal assistance in order to get c.o. status because the process is so difficult. if more veterans were aware, more soldiers were where the c.o. process exists and there were reforms made to the process, we may not have had a situation where a soldier had a conscientious change of heart and left his post because he didn't realize there were formal recourses of actions he could have taken. not saying that is the reason why sergeant bergdahl left, we don't know, but the point is, i think we could avoid potential situations like this if we reform the c.o. process and more soldiers were made aware the process exists. >> brock mcintosh was served in afghanistan in 2008 in 2009, apply for conscientious ejector status and was discharged. when we come back, we will be joined by the first socialist
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city council member of seattle, washington, who pushed for and ultimately got past the $15 an hour minimum wage in seattle. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. the $15 in our minimum wage, once a far-off dream, could soon spread across the country with debates underway from san francisco to chicago to new york city. all are watching seattle, washington, which made history this week by passing the $15 in our minimum wage. it is the highest rate in the country for major city, and more than twice the federal minimum. >> the rays will be phased in over time. seattle businesses will have three to seven years to implement it, depending on their
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size. the plan also includes several loopholes for businesses, which were fought until the last minute by seattle city council member kshama sawant, the first socialist to join the council in a century. this was the scene monday as workers and allies packed the city council chamber to watch the minimum wage hike has unanimously. thank you. the bill passes and the chair signed it. 31524.ion all in favor of adopting the resolution, indicate by saying aye. opposed? the amendment or the resolution is adopted unanimously. >> workers and activists chanting kshama sawant's named after the city council passed
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the $15 hour minimum wage. she ran for city council last journal platform of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. to talk more about the campaign, she is here with us for the socialist city council member of seattle, kshama sawant for joining us from seattle. welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of this moment. >> it is absolutely historic not only for seattle, but for working people all over the nation, even globally. what we have one here is the ,ossibility for 100,000 workers low-wage workers in seattle, to be listed -- lifted out of poverty over the next 10 years. it signifies a transfer of income of $3 billion from the richest in the city to the bottommost workers, the workers who make the city run. i would urge everybody to see what a reversal of fortune this is because for the last several decades, it has been a systematic gushing out of income and wealth from the bottom to the top will stop this is one of the first really big fight back
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against the status quo of income inequality in a race to the bottom for ordinary working people. in thelso significant speed with which we achieved it. i took office as a socialist, as a voice for the working class only on january 6. a week later, we launched the 15 now grassroots campaign, which has been part of the back own of the mass movement in seattle that oneness. it is historically significant, and i think the most important thing people should take away from seattle, is that the establishment, the politicians and the businesses, they're not going to be on your side. working people have to build our own power, our own strength from below. the reason we won this in seattle is not because the establishment, politicians, or mayor were pushing for this. they were pressured to the point they could not ignore it. 15 became the top of the agenda.
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but the push for this, the real-life light of this movement has been -- lifeblood of this movement has been the people and having a role fighting voice in city hall. , when seattle's mayor ed murray unveiled his plan to phase in the $15 in our minimum wage, you criticized it as flawed. i want to play your comments on "huffington post live." >> it has several components that are actually on the big business wish list. a four-year phase and for big business? why does mcdonald's need for years to bring their workers out of poverty? but the ceo of starbucks and mcdonald's, the city council and justify why they need to keep their workers one day longer in poverty. 11 year phase in for other businesses? every year of phase-in is another year that a worker has to live in poverty. >> can you talk to us about how
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you came to support the current plan, the form and finally took -- it finally took? >> it is important to clarify that as a socialist, as a fighter for the interest of the working class, i will fight every inch of the way. we should be doing that. we should be fighting until the last hour. it every gain we can get has to be wrenched from the hands of the ruling elite, from the corporate politicians, and businesses they represent. even a small rate and standard of living is something worth fighting for and we should grab it as much as we can. at the end of the day, the person -- the fact that corporations were able to get their loopholes passed shows that we need to build an even more powerful mass movement everywhere around the nation so that we are strong enough to
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fight against corporate loopholes. the outcomes of social struggle are a function of the balance of forces. the moral of the story is not, well, we can't win. the moral of the story is we want a huge victory for the working class. if you want to fight against corporations, then the only way to do it is to build mass movements. i just want to give you an example of what this means, what it means to build a mass movement and why it is necessary. the city council, full of democratic party politicians, past unanimously $15 an hour, which is fantastic and a huge step forward, but less than 24 hours later, the council has been voting -- and i'm holding up this headline this morning -- which talks about how the highest-paid city employee executive who is the head of the publicly owned electricity company who already is paid $245,000, according to a vote
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yesterday, is on his way to get more than $350,000. it shows you that the fundamental shift that is happening is happening from the ground, from the occupy movement, from workers and activists themselves rejecting income inequality, rejecting the corporate agenda of capitalism. we have to keep doing this in a bigger way because the moment we take our eye off the ball, the same body that passed 15 is brazenly going forward and talking about a huge pay increase for the person who is already the highest-paid executive. what we have to learn from this is that we cannot rely on the establishment. we have to set our sights higher. how did seattle when this? in important component was having a fighting voice for ourselves in city hall through socialist alternatives. i think this needs to be done in many other cities. the chicago teachers union
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should run their own independent left candidate as a defiant challenge, as an insurgent, audacious challenge to rahm emanuel's democratic party establishment in chicago. we need to do more of these things. i would urge anybody who is inspired by watching this, by what we have done in seattle, please, go to 15now.org. try to get involved. maybe there is a 15 now chapter that is being -- sprung up in your city. see if there is a left organization that can build on our success. ultimately, i think we need to raise our sights even higher, start talking about what the working class needs in terms of an independent political representation and independent political party to represent our interestss for the working class. we cannot recall rely on the democrats. talking about the war in the
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previous segment, it is a great example of how completely --functional and rodney it's right is two-party system is and how anita break,. >> kshama sawant, thank you for being with us, the first citywide socialist elected member of the city council. 1916.k you to go back to will end this segment with the words of a worker from target who spoke ahead of monday's city council meeting in seattle for those who went on strike on the global day of protest for low-wage workers. >> i am a worker at target. about $9.61 an hour right now. i work very, very hard for it.
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means is people like me are able to afford basic necessities. rising housing costs are only part of the problem. and like health care, things like being able to afford new shoes before our shoes fall apart, thing able to go to the dentist. -- being able to go to the dentist. i'm worried that my mother right now is getting old and she is going to work until the day she dies. i want to be able to take care of her. i don't want to work until i die. it would really like to build a save money for retirement or even for something if something happens to me so i don't end up on the street. >> speaking ahead of the seattle city council vote. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> the environmental protection agency announced earlier this
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week new regulations seeking a 30% reduction of carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants by the year 2030. the regulations have been described as the u.s. government's most sweeping effort aimed at curbing the emissions that cause global warming. >> however, "the guardian," report some of the most coal heavy states will be allowed to maintain or even increase their emissions under the epa plan. meanwhile, the european union and the united states must "do even more to help keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees celsius." for more we go to washington, d.c. where we are joined by janet redman, director of the comment policy program at the y studies.for polic she recently co-released a statement with wenonah hauter called, "epa's carbon rule falls short of real emissions reduction." janet redman, welcome to democracy now! talk about what president obama
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announced, with the epa announced last weekend and what it means. >> it is important to keep in mind there are three pieces to this. this is an exciting and important announcement, but it falls short of real leadership on climate change. there are a lot of doubles in the details we need to figure out. first and foremost, this is an incredibly important announcement. this is a first time the white is looking at.s. reducing greenhouse gas pollution from power plants. it is based on a finding from 2009 that when epa determines that greenhouse gas emissions to threaten the well-being of americans because they lead to climate change come over test negative impacts on families and the environment. this is an incredibly important announcement. it is important particular because climate change is an environmental justice issue. the impacts of climate change and the impact of pollution that come from power plants hurt people who are in communities of color and low-income communities
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first and worst. the problem, however, those reductions are not enough to make the u.s. a leader either here at home or the global stage. let's look at the numbers a little bit. intergovernmental panel on climate change, hundreds of scientists from around the world who study climate change, who read thousands of reports and put up their own global assessment every few years, has said developed countries like the u.s. need to reduce their economy wide emissions between 25% to 40% of 1990 levels by 2020. we look at obama and epa's plan, they're talking about reducing emissions from only the powergenerating sector, which is only about 40% of the economy. talking about reducing those emissions from the year 2005. our emissions were much higher in 2005 the 1990 levels, so we are already creating a false baseline in measuring our objections differently than
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other folks in other countries are measuring them. 30% reduction in a relatively important but small part of our economy wide emissions from a higher baseline and by a later year means we are not meeting the kinds are making the kinds of emission reductions we need to to stay below two degrees of warming from preindustrial levels. to avoid catastrophic, change. >> on the environmental justice aspect of this, there's also this issue of the allowance of cap and trade as a means of perhaps were some communities will not be able to benefit from these reductions. could you talk about that? >> this is where the devil and the detail peace comes in. with the epa's plan does, instead of saying, listen, we will have emission reduction plan that is the same for every single state, this epa plan says, we all set targets for each state and the targets are different for every state. some of the most polluting states have lower targets or may
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not have to reduce their missions at all. but there are many different ways states can meet the emission reductions if they have them. things like renewable energy portfolio standards, demand-side energy efficiency. california has feel emission standards. there is a mechanism called cap and trade where a cap is placed on greenhouse gas emissions. but polluters are allowed to trade emission or pollution permits that allow them to meet the regulatory obligations and the cheapest way possible. that is a problem because while the atmosphere may not care were greenhouse gas emissions come from, the people who live in the shadow of the most polluting and dirtiest industries, the most spencer to clean up the most likely these cheaper mechanisms like buying credits, will still be breathing and the toxic emissions of those -- in the toxic emissions of those power plants. int we are really concerned
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the next year, there's a problem called offsetting. in the epa's plan, it says it will not accept offsets from outside of the power sector. for example, it won't say if you here, thatests over will cap the same as lying or missions for power plant. however, the state plans to accept out of sector offset so you will be on the states themselves to say to the epa, hey, we have these out of sector emissions reductions, so we're paying farmers to reduce their emissions from, say, methane and counting those as our own while our own power plants continue to emit or emit more. we are going to figure out a way to have does not cap when we report you at the federal level. i think either the epa knows that will be incredibly complicated. the plans over the next year are incredibly important. the problem is, what the plans ae into the epa, it is
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hands-off approach. we will have to wait about a decade to see if states were able to take apart the various sets insider cap and trade program to make sure that in fact our plans in the states like california are really in fact reducing their emissions. >> john boehner has criticized obama's plan saying it would "cause a surge electricity bills, shut down plants and potentially put an average of 224,000 more people out of work every year." he also said he is not qualified really to talk about climate change. he says, i'm not qualified to debate the science over climate change. your thoughts on this? >> i think what is important is reducing emissions and raining and pollution from coal power have -- coal powered power plant in a meeting energy efficiency will create jobs and reduce costs that we spent on caring illnesses. it is better for our economy and communities to reduce pollution from power plants. we should be doing a better job. >> janet redman, we have to
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>> my name is alexandra grant and i am an artist.
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